Rep. Duterte pushes additional benefits for educators to mark National Teachers’ Day

Wednesday, 5 October 2022

First Congressional District Communication and Information Office

Rep. Duterte  pushes additional benefits for educators to mark National Teachers’ Day

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QUEZON CITY - Davao City First Congressional District Representative Paolo Duterte has proposed an array of measures that would institutionalize the grant of scholarships, hardship pay and other benefits for educators as the country celebrates National Teachers’ Day on October 5.


Among these measures is House Bill (HB) 4697 which aims to further professional the ranks of public school educators by offering them scholarships for their graduate and post-graduate studies.


The bill also aims to ease the economic burden of public school teachers by providing educational cash assistance to their children enrolled in college courses in state universities and colleges (SUCs).


Scholarships under HB 4697 covers teachers, guidance counselors, school librarians, industrial arts and/or vocational instructors, and other persons performing supervisory and/or administrative functions either on a full-time or part-time basis in public schools, colleges and universities.


To be eligible for the scholarship, the applicant should be in active duty for at least two consecutive years immediately prior to the date of application for the grant. The scholarship is applicable in all SUCs.


Duterte filed the measure with Benguet Rep. Eric Yap and ACT-CIS Partylist Reps. Edvic Yap and Jeffrey Soriano.


“The role of teachers goes beyond the four walls of the classroom and their work schedule. Outside of their lesson plans, they instill moral and civic values to the Filipino youth. They invest their knowledge, time and energy in molding our youth. It is high time for the State to do the same for our educators, who are considered among the pillars of our society,” they said in fling HB 4697.


Under HB 4697, retired public school teachers are also allowed to avail of educational cash aid for their children, but for only a portion of the full amount to be determined by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), which will implement the bill’s provisions along with the Department of Education (DepEd).


The four lawmakers, along with Quezon City Rep. Ralph Tulfo and ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo, also filed the proposed “Teachers for the Barrios Act” through HB 456.


This measure aims to amend Section 19 of Republic Act 4670 (Magna Carta for Public School Teachers) to specifically include public school teachers assigned to far flung communities in the grant of the hardship allowance.


Under HB 456, the allowance shall be equivalent to double the total expenses that the teacher will incur every month in additional public transportation from the nearest capital town or urban center where he or she is assigned.


In the event that the teacher assigned to a far-flung barrio would need to stay in a temporary housing facility, the head of the barangay in that area is mandated to secure suitable and safe housing for the teacher, as stated under the bill.


“Teachers go to extreme lengths for their students, and it is only appropriate that we establish necessary measures to recognize their heroic deeds,” said Duterte and his fellow co-authors of HB 456.


Another pro-education bill filed by Duterte is HB 3542, which seeks to provide communications and internet data allowance to both public and private school teachers in the basic education sector during times of public health emergencies, calamities and other occurrences that would result in the prolonged closure of schools and other learning institutions.


“In addition to the pursuit of increasing internet speeds in the country is the assurance that among its main users, the teachers, could afford it. And only through the grant of this monetary assistance that they would surely be able to do so,” said Duterte and Rep. Eric Yap in filing the measure.


On top of communications and data allowances, Yap and Duterte also proposed under the bill that the DepEd, in coordination with the Department of Information and Communications (DICT), provide public and private school teachers with computers and other similar “technologically appropriate” devices.


This is necessary as the pandemic has demonstrated how alternative modes of learning need to be incorporated into the country’s educational system to ensure continued access to education, Duterte and Yap said.


Under the bill, the DepEd, in coordination with the DICT, shall determine the time of execution and amount of broadband data needed for the full implementation of blended or distance learning modes during times of public health emergencies and other analogous cases.


The bill also states that during the period of the declared public health emergency and other analogous cases, access to websites where the blended learning materials are published or posted shall be subsidized by the government, and may be accessed free of charge.


To lessen costs, the bill also allows the Department of Finance (DOF), through the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), to possibly grant fiscal incentives to service providers and suppliers needed to provide the data allowance for teachers.


On top of these measures, Duterte and Yap earlier filed HB 3543 which will grant a tax-exempt P2,000 “Teaching Supplies Allowance” per month for every public school teacher in active duty in the basic education sector.

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